Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wedding + New Baby Card

Recently our friends from New Zealand came to the area and we were able to celebrate their marriage and the birth of their daughter. The card I made for them was simple and only worked because the letters in their names were perfect.

Their names basically intersect to form the best answers to a crossword puzzle ever! Plus, the "o" in their names provided the perfect opportunity to add a heart.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bedroom Wreaths

One of the benefits of going up to the mountains for a Christmas tree is that your tree is seldom perfect. An imperfect tree means extra branches to cut and use for wreath-making. What I decided to do this year was to make one wreath for each of my kid's bedroom doors. I customized the wreath colors to match their bedrooms and the smell of the branches is absolutely heavenly. I love that the Christmas tree smell is now elsewhere in my house!

Some over-the-door wreath hangers I already had worked great for holding the wreaths without any damage to my doors. I think these were from Potterybarn quite a few years ago. My mom had them personalized with "Merry Christmas" and "Feliz Navidad."

I'm having fun decking the halls this year! I hope your Christmas is full of wonderful creative opportunities, colorful memories, and loving family and friends!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Graham Cracker Nativity

While I was looking through some old photos, I found a photo of a project my daughter did back in preschool. I don't know where my daughter's teacher got the idea, but I thought this simple little Nativity scene was so cute! And it looked so easy: just two graham crackers, a star cookie, shredded wheat hay, animal crackers, a marshmallow Jesus, and a bunch of icing to hold it all together.

I thought it was particularly adorable that my daughter's Nativity scene involved a buffalo, a zebra, and a lion.  I miss having a preschooler!

Monday, December 3, 2012

National Forest Christmas Tree

We hadn't done this in years. I mean, before we had kids! So we decided to do it again this year: go Christmas Tree hunting in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Even without the Christmas Tree part, the hike through the snow is amazing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Photography Favor

Well, I finally did it: I finally said yes.

I have been asked several times over these last few years if I'd be willing to take photos for my friends' projects. I always say no. I don't know why exactly... maybe I'm just a chicken. Sure, I'm nervous about being absolutely awful. I mean, what if I say yes and I end up with no good shots. It's always "what if."

Friday, November 23, 2012

Kid-Designed Thanksgiving Table

As I said earlier this week, my six-year-old daughter was in charge of decorating our table this year for Thanksgiving. She had a $10 budget and could use anything in the house to help her with her vision. And here's the finished product:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Table Kid Inspiration

My six year old daughter describes herself as very creative. So I decided to harness some her enthusiasm to create by allowing her free rein over decorating our Thanksgiving table. To help her with this task, I told her she had a $10 budget and that she could use Pinterest for ideas.

Seriously, it was the cutest thing watching her eyes light up while scrolling down the page. She can't write very well, so she drew pictures of what she wanted for the table and wrote the words "make" and "buy" by the drawings so she would know later what her tasks would need to be. Here are some of the images that spoke to her as a creative, party-loving first grader:

Not too shabby. I'll post the final product later this week.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Soccer Photos

I had a little fun photographing my daughter's soccer team this year. Maybe it's because it seems as though my daughter finally found her foot this season, or maybe it's because the girls were just way too cute! 

I think I might have taken about 800 photos this season. And while it took me awhile to go through all of the photos, I was so happy to share the 125 shots I was, in the end, able to pass on to the families of the team. My photography skills definitely got better over the course of the season, and I definitely took advantage of having a digital camera -- I can take tons of photos and then I can simply delete them if I don't like them.

I think I'm getting a hang of this!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

After Soccer Snacks

Sometimes I'm asked to do something that shouldn't take much time at all and I somehow find a way to turn it into a "project." I just can't help myself! I was asked to provide snacks for my kids' soccer teams and for some reason the idea of just handing over the snacks without any creative touches made me feel like I wasn't doing what I was put on this planet to do. So I went ahead and added a simple little embellishment to make an otherwise plain snack bag into something a little more personal.

All I did was bag up the post game snacks (juice box, cheese crackers, and an orange) into brown lunch bags and then I "sealed" the bags with address label sized stickers that I printed out with the kids' team names on them. The idea to bag up the snacks came from some of the other parents who had bagged their snacks previous weeks -- an idea that saves a ton of time when kids are scrambling around after a game and ready to head home.

After I was finished I was so pleased with the look that I decided that I'll probably use the same technique some day for party favor bags.

Good game, Dragons!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Día de los Muertos Makeup

Because today is November first, the official date of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), I figured there was no better day than today to share my costume from yesterday's festivities.

I had spent so much time on my kids costumes this year, and since I followed it with preparations for our annual pumpkin carving party, I didn't have a whole lot of time to make myself a costume. And I've been seriously bored by my costume from the last few years. Seriously... bored! I like to be unpredictable and there's just nothing unpredictable about wearing the same thing

So this year I made myself a new costume using what I had on hand. The pack rat in me felt a little validation as I dug through some of my attic boxes for the peasant dress I knew I had up there somewhere. And I found my box of Halloween makeup with just enough time to do the makeup job pictured above. I happened to find some fake flowers (where did those come from?!?) and pinned them to my head before adding a black fringed shawl above and behind the flowers over my hair.

What did I take away from my costume experience this year?
1) It's okay for me to keep stuff if I honestly plan to use it.
2) I actually need to use my stuff.
3) Makeup can go a long way.
4) If I want to make a costume for myself I really should get started on it in September.
5) If I don't start in September I should be prepared to wear something old or face the chaos of the last minute rush.

Who knows what kind of costume adventure I'll have next year!

¡Feliz Día de los Muertos!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Lunch

Pumpkins, ghosts, and bats!

Happy Halloween! May your day be filled with smiles!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Boo Chips

So one of the biggest hits of my pumpkin carving party had nothing to do with the pumpkins. Let me introduce you to "Boo Chips."

They are seriously yummy... kind of remind me of the taste of Pringles. I got mine at Whole Foods Market, but one of my party guests said she saw them at World Market, too. 

If you ever do see them in a store, I highly recommend buying them when you first see them. I saw them at the beginning of October and when came back a week later there were only a few bags left. I'm so glad I picked them up when I had a chance!

I, for one, will be using these babies in my kids' lunches on Halloween day!

Happy snacking!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Photo "Costumes"

I decided to dress some of our photos in "costumes" this year. Okay, so all I did was doodle onto the glass in front of the photos we have around the house, but I thought it was pretty funny. The change was so subtle that no one noticed for a few days. Then I heard my kids giggling one day as they ran around the house to see each photo's makeover.

I used wet erase markers for all of my doodles so that I could simply wipe away the art after Halloween.

I even doodled on the glass over a couple of my kids' drawings.

I think I'm a little obsessed. But seriously, it was so much fun!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Foongus Amoonguss

I'm so happy: I have completed my kids' costumes! What's really amazing is that I'm actually finished a couple of days early -- anyone who knows me and my tendency to procrastinate know this is quite a feat!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Baby Footprint Ghosts

"boo too!"

This is the card I sent out to my close friends and family shortly after my daughter was born. On the front of the card are the footprints of my then two-year-old son and his newborn little sister turned into ghosts. Many of my family members still display this card when Halloween grows near and it warms my heart every time I see them!

I love Halloween!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hot Dog Octopi

I saw a photo of these online somewhere and I just had to make them for my kids to take for lunch. I cut hot dogs in half and then sliced up the bottoms to make eight legs. Then I made some slits with the point of my knife for faces and then popped the hot dogs into boiling water. The hot water makes the octopus legs curl outward and the slits separate to make the faces more recognizable.

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Simple Lego Chess Set

My son has decided he wants to be a chess player. He plays with friends during recess using a giant outdoor chess set, he checks out books about chess from the library, and he bugs me all the time to play with him. Up until last week, though, we didn't have a chess set. So my son decided we needed to make our own using one of his favorite building mediums: LEGO!

left to right: pawn, rook, knight, bishop, queen, and king

My mom (God bless her) had collected inexpensive used LEGO from yard sales a few years back, so luckily we had a bunch of basic LEGO pieces to work with. We sorted through our black and white LEGO bins and found enough common bricks to make up the chess pieces above. 

Once the pieces were assembled we found our checker board and played. And we've played almost every day since!

It's true we probably could have purchased a chess set for under $10, but we had such a fun time building our own. I'm glad my kids are learning to find creative solutions to their problems!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Salmon Day Lunch

smoked salmon spread sandwiches, goldfish crackers,  Swedish fish, salmon-shaped apple slices
 (notice how they have green faces and red bodies like spawning salmon... yep, that's how I roll)

My son's class is visiting a salmon hatchery today. Over the last month, his class has been studying the salmon and its life cycle and we visited a fish ladder last weekend in anticipation of his class hatchery field trip. Naturally, I had to send my son to school with a special "Salmon Day Lunch" to celebrate!

smoked salmon spread, crackers, goldfish crackers, Swedish fish, salmon-shaped apple slices

Of course I couldn't leave my non-sandwich-eating daughter out of the mix.

Happy Salmon Day, kids!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Poppa's Apple

"Poppa's Apple," an acrylic finger painting

Ah, apple season: how I love thee!

I grew up with apples and other fruit and veggies growing in my backyard. I also grew up with a very busy dad. Often I remember my dad biting into a piece of fruit on his way out the door and then he would forget his poor fruit wherever he bit into it. I love my Pop so much and now that I am an adult, just seeing a bitten piece of fruit lying around somewhere makes me smile. So I created the painting above with my dad in mind.

I had actually forgotten about the painting until I had an apple love fest this week. Look at the gorgeous pink apple I picked up.

"Pink Pearl" is this sexy little number's name.

And the inside of the apple is pretty, too!

Juicy, reddish, goodness!

On another apple note, one of our young apple trees finally grew an apple. Yes, that's right, one apple. But you would've thought we had won the lottery by the way my son reacted to being able to pick the darn thing off of our very own tree in our very own backyard!

We're so proud!

Hooray for apples!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bitten Fruit Gift Tags

I had a quick project over the weekend when my mom asked me to wrap some items for my daughter's birthday party. Fortunately one of the items was a bag with an image of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", so the wrapping was easy. All I had to do was add tissue paper and a tag.

My solution for a tag: bitten fruit. Because every hungry caterpillar leaves his mark!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back-to-School Lunch

It's the first day of school and I made a lunch inspired by all of the cute lunches I've seen out there lately. Fun! The pencil cookie came from a collection of back-to-school themed cookies from Little Rae's Bakery in Seattle. I had a hard time choosing between their pencil, apple, and school bus cookies. Awesome!

Have a wonderful first day back, kids!